Knitted knockers! That was the unusual suggestion made at my mum’s charity knitting group last week.
I found myself wondering whether they could actually be useful and, being the inquisitive expectant mum that I am, I was intrigued to find out more. So,
What does a knitted boob have to do with breastfeeding?
Knitted breasts are found in breastfeeding clinics and support groups. Midwives, health visitors and breastfeeding volunteers use them to demonstrate several aspects of breastfeeding.
“they are easy to manipulate and show latches … Unlike a real boob!” – @
They are used to show expectant and new mums how to encourage their babies to latch properly and how to mould or hold their breasts to get the nipple in the right position for baby’s mouth. Apparently they are also great for teaching how to express milk and how to deal with problems like blocked ducts.
Do knitted boobs make breastfeeding easier?
I got my breast pump out of the box for the first time last night and I must admit that I quite like the idea of having a go on a knitted boob before I put it anywhere near my own! Maybe I’ll ask mum to knit me some!
However, the cynical side of me questions whether knitted boobs are really useful when they are, for obvious reasons, nothing like the real thing either in terms of size, shape, or texture.
“I guess it helped them describe what I needed to do” – breastfeeding mummy
Is it really possible to make your own boobs do the same thing as their knitted counterparts, especially when they are also leaking milk, sore, and you’re trying to settle a hungry baby?
“It kind of helped see positions. Didn’t help when it came to actually having to breastfeed though!” – breastfeeding mummy
How do I donate knitted boobs?
Knitted breast feeding aids come in all sorts of sizes and colours so there’s plenty of scope to get creative. One knitting group on the Isle of Lewis, featured in the Guardian, produced a hugely colourful collection. Others come in pastel shades and many are true to a range of skin tones. The only specification seems to be that they are two tone for which I read – have an obvious nipple.
Since they are sold on eBay for up to £10.00 per pair, it’s easy to see why hospitals welcome donations.
If you fancy knocking up some knockers you can find several downloadable patterns on the internet including this pattern from the breastfeeding network.
Breastfeeding services near Manchester that are seeking donations:
- Warrington and Halton NHS Foundation Trust Hospital
- Breastfeeding Peer Support Service in Wigan (It might be worth contacting them first as the request is a few years old)
- Neonatal Knitters – Search “boobs” on this Facebook page (yes – I really did!) and it looks like St Mary’s and Tameside Hospital may be after them too.
We have our NCT breastfeeding class next week and I’m intrigued to find out whether we’ll be practising with knitted boobs. That’s one place where a knitted pair sounds great – I don’t fancy getting mine out in any sort of group scenario.
No doubt I will be able to re-visit this subject with the benefit of experience in due course. In the meantime, please do let me know if you’ve come across any knitted boobs, either as an expectant or new mother. I’m really interested to find out if they are just a gimmick to bring a bit of humour, or a truly useful resource.